Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/100

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470 REV - JOHN LIVINGSTON.

done much, latterly, to restore the former state of feeling in the north of Ireland. In the summer of 1648, he was translated, by the general assembly, to Ancrum, in Roxburghshire, where he found a people much more in need of his ser- vices than at Stranraer. In 1650, he was one of three clergymen deputed, by the church, to accompany an embassage which was sent to treat with Charles II., at the Hague, for his restoration to a limited authority in Scotland. In his memoirs, Mr Livingston gives a minute account of the negotiations with the young king, which throws considerable light on that transaction, but cannot here be entered upon. He seems to be convinced, however, of the insincerity of the king, though his facility of disposition rendered him an unfit person to oppose the conclusion of the treaty. Being of opinion that the lay ambassadors were taking the curse of Scotland with them, he refused to embark, and was, at last, brought off by stratagem. In the ensuing transactions, as may be conceived, he took the side of the protestors ; but, upon the whole, he mingled less in public business than many divines of inferior note in spiritual gifts. During the protectorate, he lived very quietly in the exercise of his parochial duties ; and, on one occasion, though inclined to go once more to Ire- land, refused a charge which was offered to him at Dublin, with a salary of 200 a-year. After the restoration, he very soon fell under the dis- pleasure of the government, and, in April, 1663, was banished from his na- tive country, which he never more saw. He took up his residence at Rotter- dam, where there was already a little society of clergymen in his own circum- stances.

In narrating the events of this part of his life, Mr Livingston mentions some curious traits of his own character and circumstances. " My inclination and disposition, he says, " was generally soft, amorous, averse from debates, rather given to laziness than rashness, and easy to be wrought upon. I cannot saj what Luther affirmed of himself concerning covetousness ; but, I may say, I have been less troubled with covetousness and cares than many other evils. I rather inclined to solitariness than company. I was much troubled with wandering of mind and idle thoughts. For outward things, I never was rich, and I never was in want, and I do not remember that I ever borrowed money, but once in Ireland, five or six pounds, and got it shortly paid. I choused rather to want sundry things than to be in debt. I never put any thing to the fore of any maintenance I had ; yea, if it had not been for what I got with my wife, and by the death of her brother, and some others of her friends, I could hardly have maintained my family, by any stipend I had in all the three places I was in."

The remainder of his life was spent in a manner more agreeable, perhaps, to his natural disposition, than any preceding part. He had all along had a desire to obtain leisure for study, but was so closely pressed, by his ordinary duties, that he could not obtain it. He now devoted himself entirely to his favourite pursuit of biblical literature, and had prepared a polyglot bible, which obtained the unqualified approbation of the most learned men in Scotland, when he was cut off, on the 9th of August, 1672, in the 70th year of his age. Just before he expired, his wife, foreseeing the approach of dissolution, desired him to take leave of his friends. " I dare not," said he, with an affectionate tenderness ; " but it is likely our parting will be but for a short time." Mr. Livingston, besides his Bible, (as yet unpublished,) left notes descriptive of all the principal clergymen of his own time, which, with his memoirs, were printed in 1754. Some of his children emigrated from Scotland to the state of New York, where their descendants have, in the course of time, become people of the first distinc- tion and weight in society. The late Dr John H. Livingston, minister of the